Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wojciech Kossak - a birthday note

salvete Omnes,
last post in the calendar year of 2017 - happy New Year!

Wojciech Horacy Kossak has been one of the pillars of the Polish art and his brush works on canvas are firmly entrenched in the pantheon of Polish art, in spite of many years of prejudice or even ridicule.
 He was born 15 minutes before midnight on December 31 1856, while his twin brother Tadeusz was born right after midnight on January 1, 1857.
Happy birthday Wojciech Kossak

 Kolejna rocznica urodzin Wojciecha Kossaka, urodzonego kwadrans przed północą AD 1856, a jego brat-bliźniak urodził się już po północy, AD 1857(o Tadeuszu i jego wspomnieniach o wojnach 1914-20 mam nadzieje napisać w przyszłości)
 Załączam link do podcastu Muzeum Miasta Lodzi o Wojciechu Kossaku, linki do listy audycji w Polskim Radio o Kossaku i jego rodzie, oraz przede wszystkim fragment ze Wspomnien (wyd. 1912) opisujący polowanie w Godollo (na Węgrzech), gdzie pan Wojciech  pędził na cesarskiej siwej irlandzkiego chowu klaczy galopem przez 1 godzinę i 40 minut tuz za cesarzem Franciszkiem Józefem:

 Imć Pan Kazimierz Olszański przywrócił swoimi publikacjami pozycje Wojciecha Kossaka w historii sztuki polskiej, a dzisiaj przydalby sie powazny, calosciowy album pokazujący  twórczość, ponad 2000 obrazów, mości Wojciecha.
Dosiego Roku!
 Year of Kościuszko - 2017

in Poland this passing and very old year has been named and celebrated as the year of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, hero of Poland and USA - in 1894 Wojciech Kossak , Jan Styka and a number of artists painted the famous Racławice panorama, that had used to be housed in the city of Lwów, but since in 1945 the Soviets robbed (with the American and British approval - bloody & idiotic Curzon Line pretense)  Poland of city of Lwów, then today displayed in tis specially built museum in Wrocław, Poland


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Anna Zyndwalewicz - a painter

Salvete Omnes,
today we can preview some of the paintings, drawings and sculpture by a very talented and prolific Polish contemporary artist pani Anna Zyndwalewicz. 'Moscipani' Ania comes from the voivodeship of Dolny Slask (Lower Silesia), from a family of artists, and  is a graduate of the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts  and practices her art in that Polish sunniest province. Multi-talented, versatile and very skilled with a pencil, brush, or chisel she is also a horse owner and horsewoman.
Pani Ania graciously agreed to share the equine-themed part of her art on my blog, for which I am most grateful.
You can find her work and contanct on Facebook.
Anna Zyndwalewicz with one of her horses and one of her paintings




all images Copyright @ Anna Zyndwalewicz

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Magi from XIII century

Salvete Omnes,
let imagination take us to the XIII century German lands in order to see some fine horses, their tack and riders from the early part of that century, as portrayed in the medieval manuscript illumination showing Adoration of Magi.
The images comes from the Berthold Sacramentary that has been named after  Berthold of Heimburg who was the abbot of the Benedictine Weingarten monastery( in the Holy Roman Empire) between 120 and 1230 AD, and it is currently held at the The Pierpont Morgan Library, NYC.
The name of the monk who painted them is unknown and he has been named the master of the Berthold Sacramentary.
Adoration of Magi

Below, on the gold chestnut palfrey, that is  stepping horse, do note high pommel and cantle saddle, double cinches and curb-bit, extended legs of the rider
note the horseshoes

 A stepping steel grey palfrey and his rider in full foreshortening

Fine portrayal of the foreshortened horse and rider - both rear and front, note his long, extended leg position in the saddle.

elaborate bridle on the stepping gold chestnut palfrey


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wigilia Bożego Narodzenia - Christmas Eve

Salvete Omnes,
Merry Christmas to you all!
dzisiaj Wigilia Bożego Narodzenia - Wesołych Świat!
!Feliz Navidad!
may peace, family, health, joy and prosperity always be with you.
Especially all the best to the Christians of the Near East, and to all good Muslims and Jews there.

... and some Medieval nativity artwork to go with this post, ahead of us the Christmas Eve supper, gift-giving and then  2 days of holidays with family and loved ones -
nota bene I love Mary, Mother of God , especially the Black Madonna from Jasna Gora.

master of the Vissi Brod


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ladies and hawking

Salvete Omnes,
I titled today''s post:  ladies and hawking.
I chose a calendar image from the famous XV century manuscript originally painted for Jean, Duc de Berry and titled Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. The manuscript was  painted by three Low Countries master painters known as the Limbourg  brothers, who painted the bulk of the work, but sadly died, perhaps prematurely, circa1416AD, and hence during the XV century at least 2 or 3 additional painters had added miniatures to this folio since 1420s.
One of them was master Barthelemy, Flemish-born painter who worked in the Kingdom of France and Duchy of Burgundy etc, who is famous for his miniature work, including calendar miniature paintings within the Tres Riches Heures.(we shall visit some of his works in the future, God willing)
Also master Jean Colombe, French master of the famous Les Passages d'oultre mer du noble Godefroy de Bouillon, du bon roy Saint Loys et de plusieurs vertueux princes (Crusader chronicles), and many others, was involved in finishing Tres Riches Heures and including retouching strokes within the folio.
Another painter, the Intermediate Painter he is called and various speculations have been made about the authorship including brushwork of master Barthelemy. So this unspecified painter created the  August calendar page.
It is that artist workk we will look at today. It was most likely, due to the fashion displayed by the noble riders in the manuscript, painted in 1420s.
we have a scene showing hunting with hawks or the noble and ancient art of hawking or falconry - probably a Central Asian or Eurasian steppe hunting method invented by the Saka horse warriors, nota bene ancient Greek doctor Ctesias of Cnidus wrote about hawking within ancient Iranian milieu. It was perhaps the Sarmatians (Alans) , and Huns and steppe Germans who brought this hunting method to Western Europe towards the end of the Western Roman Empire. In addition to the Central and Western Asian hunters, within the Arabian milieu the faris knight seem to have been a falconer too, and this art is practiced in the Arabian and Islamic world. Nowadays the Kazakh hunters who hunt with eagles are most picturesque. In Polish tradition we have had many references and works on the subject. The art seems to be making a come back these days in the West too.
In the Middle Ages we have many works on the subject, including the most famous and beautifully illustrated XIII century manuscript, simply put a how-to-book,  De arte venandi cum avibus by Holy Roman emperor Frederick II.
In our image there is a hunt with birds on horseback, there are 3 horses with mounted figures holding hawks and falcons etc and the most striking figure is the lady riding side-saddle mounted on a beautiful white that is a very expensive XV century noble gaited horse or palfrey.
Lady riding side-saddle, horse's tack in uniformed dyed leather

hawk plainly visible, also the other horseman's hawk is visible
a closeup of the horse's front, showing splendid tack, reins and breastplate with a chest pendant
this couple, riding a grulla gray stallion, also a stepping palfrey, the lady riding behind her man in a fashion still seen in Spain and Portugal
attendant with additional hawks

double reins, curb-bit rein let loose, while the snaffle reins used with a very light horse's mouth contact indicating a 'finished' horse. Note dyed leather matching bridle, reins, breastplate and croupper,
nobles hunt but in the heat of the summer it is the harvest time and the peasants work the fields, here harvesting corn and removing the cut grain with stalks onto the cart drawn by horses, we can see the collar and harness